Friday, 31 October 2014

Things that go bump in the night

Seems ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties are just not a surprise any more, too much commercialism has taken the chill out of the spooky. Or it could just be that it's difficult to feel any frisson of fear when the temperature's at all time high for the end of October. Well whatever Boo! there that scared yah!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

One for sorrow, two for joy ...

Good morning Mr. Magpie. How is your lady wife today?

Seeing this collection of corvids in bushes just a few yards from home the other day set me to wondering what the collective noun for magpies might be. I knew about a murder and parliament of crows so a quick search came up with tidings, gulp, murder and charm of magpies. Seems you can also have a congregation and tittering of magpies as well. The well known counting song seems to stop at ten (for the devil's own self!) what you are supposed to say when there's fourteen or fifteen of the little beauties I don't know. Oh and did you know that three crows are a warning to sell your stocks and shares? You have been warned ...(Just been informed that, as I write, today, 29 October, is the anniversary of the Wall Street Crash!)

Now I quite like magpies but some people, who falsely call themselves conservationists, want to trap and kill them on the grounds that they eat song birds. It seems some birds are more equal than others to these perverted thinkers. These sick people use the hideous Larsen trap which involves a live magpie or crow being kept in a tiny cage as bait. It's a vile practice and really should be banned (you can sign a petition here much good it will do).

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Short term view

The recent demolition of Wellington House and the clearances made for the new C4DI buildings have made a little space for a this view of the tidal barrier and the Millennium footbridge. Enjoy it (or not) while you can for new buildings will sprout up soon to block out this vista. The security fence around the site has images of what is planned, something new and definitely different.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Stench pipe

Earl de Grey, Castle Street

Civilisation is the distance that man has placed between himself and his own excreta.” 
― Brian Aldiss 

There was a time, not so very long ago, when Hull was notorious for its distinctive stench. Not the all pervading pong of rotten fish that would drift across town from time to time, no this was something more down-to-earth. Sewage. Yup there was no denying that various points in town, notably Prospect Street, came with the odour of ordure. The drains it seems lacked gradient and we were, in the words of Churchill, unable to flush our own sewers. Step up, after much complaining, the water company and a big, and I do mean big, new drain and suddenly town smells as sweet as diesel fumes. Semper melior as they are wont to say round here.

Monday, 27 October 2014


3-4 Pier Street

In the old town there's a spot of renovation going on or it could be demolition (these things can be synonymous around here). So they've wrapped the whole building in a green shroud lest some passer-by get hurt by a falling brick or plaster. You've seen this building before it's where it all goes.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

...a green thing that stands in the way

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.”
- William Blake, 1799, The Letters

I suppose if you have a canal then having really large trees growing over a good third of the waterway is not such a good idea. So it shouldn't have come as such a surprise to see these remains on the banks of the Driffield Navigation. Below how it was a few years ago before the haircut ...

That old Weekend in Black and White is here.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

It's that house again

Looking through the posts on this blog I find I have posted this house three times already. [ 1 2 3 ] Well here's the fourth. And if I go back to Drifield I'll no doubt take this shot again.

Weekend reflections are here.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Missing: 1 Tree

Somewhere in this one horse town lives a person who, a couple of weeks ago and in the early hours of the morning, took it upon themselves to remove a tree. Was the urge for a spot of surreptitious tree surgery keeping them awake at nights? Did the tree, a nine year old accacia (see below), offend some strange esthetic and so simply have to go ...? Were they cold and had no wood for their stove? I think we'll never know. 
When news of a second tree being removed at midnight surfaced a few days later the local rag began to speculate on a possible serial arboricide stalking the region, power saw in hand, "the Phantom Tree Chopper", that is until the local council fessed up to the second one. Anyhow the traders on Newland Avenue want the Council to put in another tree and there's a small reward for infomation but it's safe to say the police are stumped on this one.

Thank you Google Street View

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Lincolnshire's Finest

Following a theme of painting scenes on transport vehicles this decoration on the side of a coach brings us several of the delights of our neighbouring county Lincolnshire. Obviously Lincoln cathedral is instantly recognisable , the Boston Stump in the middle and is that Skegness' clock tower lurking at the back? So go visit Lincolnshire it's a fine and pleasant county, oh, and while you're there do try the local Lincolnshire sausages very tasty, very sweet.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Prospect Centre

This is a side entrance to the Prospect Centre. There are about 40 or so shops in this place. It was built in the mid-70's on the site of the old Hull Royal Infirmary and greatly extended in the 90's with the addition of a car park and an upper storey. It's a much smaller and I think more pleasant than the much newer nearby St Stephens.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Autumn Cemetery

Western Cemetery, Chanterlands Avenue
I always think these places look at their best in Autumn with a good scattering of leaves and the tree branches just beginning to show through. Another year to cross off ...

Monday, 20 October 2014


Well it looks like a shelter but just how much protection it gives when the going gets rough is open to question. This seemingly redundant piece is right next to the little shop that sells ice cream and fish and chips when the weather is fine.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Gabrantuicorum sinus portuosus

"After riding about twenty-two miles thro' a flat grazing country, reached Burlington-Quay, a small town close to the sea. There is a design of building a pier, for the protection of shipping; at present there is only a large wooden quay, which projects into the water, from which the place takes its name. From hence is a fine view of the white cliffs of Flamborough-Head, which extends far to the East, and forms one side of the Gabrantuicorum sinus portuosus of Ptolemy, a name derived from the British Gysr, on account of the number of goats found there, according to the conjecture of Cambden."
Thomas Pennant A Tour in Scotland 1769

Burlington-Quay we now know as Bridlington and all those other antique names such as Bretlington and Britlington cute though they may be are now passé. Ptolemy called this place portuosus meaning there were many harbours but over the years the North Sea has eaten away the coast giving a large bay with miles and miles of sandy beaches. The white cliffs of Flamborough are still there though I think the goats are long gone.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Hull Fair and all the fun thereof

Round and round it comes again the Autumnal forced fun fest. Hull Fair, centuries old, seemingly never changing and just as noisy, smelly and tedious as ever.

At least old Balou was still there and not remotely impressed by all the goings on.

All pictures by Margot K Juby 'cos I had a bad foot and was in no mood to take pictures of this stupid thing, I just tweaked them a tad.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Black knight is a long way from home

The local train company1 has decorated its trains with scenes from the cities it serves and so here we have Leeds' Black Prince statue shuttling backwards and forwards between Hull and Bridlington. The same train also had an image of Sheffield. I haven't noticed any trains with images of Hull yet, perhaps the company hasn't heard of the City of Culture ...

Weekend Reflections are here.

(1) I call it 'local' but Northern Rail is part of a vast conglomerate, owned by the multinational Serco and Abellio (the UK arm of the Dutch state railway), which operates transport services across Europe and elsewhere. Although I have heard Serco and Abellio have had a falling out.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

A thingumabob

This whatchamacallit stands the end of Bridlington's north pier. It clearly serves some purpose but what that is or even what this gismo is called I have no idea. Maybe something to do with yacht racing, there's a Royal Yorkshire Yacht club in Bridlington which holds regattas off this coast and apparently they wave a lot of flags.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Bridlington was pretty much the same as ever it is at the end of season, quiet, the odd tourist, a few seagulls waiting for scraps, the Yorkshire Belle moored up till next year and the fishing fleet tied up because the weather's been a bit iffy lately.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

and the winner is ....

As you might guess I'm not big on competing and the whole business of finding the so-called best  by this distasteful method leaves me asking why bother. But it seems some folks like a little competition even in the most obscure categories, so here, should you ever want to know, is the Beverley Bun champeen. It's on Lairgate, just down the road from the chippy, but the winner of this prestigious award is surely destined for bigger things.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore ...

I read today that the UK, for its size, has more tornadoes than the US. So, whilst Chanterlands Avenue may not look much like the corn fields of Kansas, Dorothy should still keep a weather eye out for twisters. Why only last August East Hull had one knock down some trees and lift a few roof tiles ...

This flagrant breach of copyright is in a stationers on Chanterlands Avenue. It has for sale mugs, tee shirts and other tchotchkes all with 'Hull' written somewhere on them, it's the place to go for your Hull memorabilia ... no seriously, stop laughing.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Old Picture Palace

Here's the art deco-ish front of what was originally the Kinemacolour Picture Palace opened back in 1910, that title was clearly too much for Hullensians so it became the Regent and stayed open as a cinema until 1978. After a spell as a roller disco(?) it became a pub. It is now part of a chain of pubs named after a confectioner from Chester-le-Street. This place is the sort of place that has to serve beer in plastic containers to avoid the risk of serious damage in those customer-on-customer disagreements that inevitably arise in the fiery heat of teleological disputation ...

Saturday, 11 October 2014

River Hull

From North Bridge the reflections look almost pleasant but they are, of course, virtual and inverted images of a not quite so attractive reality.

Weekend Reflections are here.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Two Characters in Search of an Exit

It's been a while since I posted these figures from outside the University's Business School. I see they are still attempting to understand their internal and external worlds. Eh bien, continuons... 

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Thursday, 9 October 2014


Fish, preferably haddock, covered in beer and flour batter and deep fried in beef dripping with a large portion of thick cut chips fried likewise, lashings of salt and maybe just a small drizzle of vinegar. Now what could be tastier or healthier than that? Fewer calories than a burger, less fat than a pizza, the chips are even a viable source of vitamin C!
This chippy on Lairgate is a bit posh in having a restaurant attached and the prices seem to be typically Beverley inflated but as there 11,000 chippies in the UK finding an alternative shouldn't be too difficult.

Now the English language often gives mirth with its ability to have multiple meanings for words. So if you wish to substitute 'carpenter' or even 'female prostitute' for 'chippy' in the above paragraph feel free.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


I suppose the price of indulgence rises just like any other commodity but this cake shop (Patisserie! hah!) on Beverley's Butcher Row does seem to be just a tad on the expensive side. Still you only live once ...

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Here is Brindley Street and you can keep it.

There is a little stretch of East Hull that is dedicated to the memory of scientists and engineers of by-gone eras. Near East Park we find Newcomen, Savery, Telford, Kelvin, Faraday, Watt, Lodge Streets and so on and last but not least here is Brindley Street.
Brindley? who he? I hear you ask, (well I asked). James Brindley was an 18th century  digger  of canals (really more a planner, others did the digging). OK the Bridgewater Canal since you ask, the start of all this hectic movement of goods and commerce, Industrial Revolution, the modern age and all that jazz. All his fault ... put the blame on James.
Fourteen or so years ago we almost bought a house on this street, a five bed-roomed monster of a terraced house. Dirt cheap (then) but no garden and quite a depressing outlook. Ended up buying a house on Portobello Street further along Holderness Road (a big mistake!). I noticed the Brindley Street house  is back on the market (you can just about make out the For Sale sign ). Am I tempted? Hah!

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Monks Walk

I sometimes wonder what happen to all those monks after the dissolution of the monasteries, did they find alternative employment elsewhere? I mean what skills did an ex-monk have to bring to the medieval employment market? Was there much call for praying for souls, Gregorian chanting and all that silent contemplation malarky? As it turns out they were simply pensioned off and with the inflation of the day that was probably not a lot to live on. (The monastery servants, however, were simply given the sack and cast out!)  So no doubt the old Brothers union would like as not drown their sorrows in the nearby hostelry, swapping their good habits for bad, dissolute monks, eh, who wants 'em!.
Enough, enough. This is the Monks Walk on Highgate, Beverley just a few steps from the Minster. It used to be the George and Dragon or just plain George. It was definitely a pub back in the mid 17th century and probably before that. Anyhow a few years back when it was being refitted it was found to date back to at least 1420. What you see here is a Georgian facade on some medieval buildings. The blank white sign on the right used to say "Whitbread" but clearly the link with this brewer has been dissolved since Whitbread ceased to brew beer about fourteen years ago (the first pint of beer I ever bought was a Whitbread, terrible frothy stuff, but I digress). The building is listed Grade2, there's more by a much better informed author on this page.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Walking home

Hull Road, Cottingham
I could always catch a bus and pay whatever the fare is these days from Cottingham to Golf Links Road but then it's not like it's that far and it's hardly unpleasant ... so one foot in front of the other it is then. Perhaps I could get a bike!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Step away from the window

Here as promised is the West window of Beverley Minster. I'm told it depicts figures and events in early Christianity in Northumbria. Though this is fine late Gothic perpendicular style the glazing dates from restoration work carried out in the mid 19th century by a company called Hardman's of Birmingham formed at the behest of Gothic revival fruitcake A. W. N. Pugin. English Heritage (bless them) describes this as a " 9-light sub-arcuated west window", I suppose brevity is next to godliness...

Friday, 3 October 2014

John, Luke, Mark and Matthew

Somehow this massive 18th century carved oak door survived the ravages of the Gilbert Scott's 'restoration' of Beverley Minster. The door depicts from right to left the four evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John with their respective symbols. A family of craftsmen by the name of Thornton is responsible for this door and the baptismal font cover which I'll show some time soon. The same Thorntons also saved the North transept from collapsing.
In reality the door is a very dark brown  but my camera failed me (or I failed it) and underexposed it; so to make an anywhere decent image I've had to play around ending up with this black and white image, it's a bit clearer if you click on it for the bigger version. Below shows the impressive door surround (they did like their statues back then) and the base of the West window which I'll show tomorrow.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Goths, Vandals and so on

Strange how the term Gothic was originally one of abuse and denigration (and has become so again when applied to the youthful urge to wear black and look as if  death would be a blessed relief from the toils of the world!). This was, as Vasari commented, a barbarous German style of building. Christopher Wren, no doubt with a view to his own line of business, also piled on the bad vibes. This was the style of the Goths who had, it was supposed, destroyed all that was good in classical Rome. Well, hmmm. If you're trying to sell a new product you don't exactly want to praise the old competition now do you?
This top view is through the canopy of the Percy Tomb in Beverley Minster. I'm guessing it would, when new, have been brightly painted and gilded. It's thought to be no later than around 1340 in construction and was one of the last pieces of original building in the Minster. After this the building gradually decayed, it survived the dissolution of the monasteries because it was a parish church otherwise we would now be looking at a picturesque ruin (that would cost a whole lot less to maintain). The North transept almost collapsed in the 18th century and was saved and repaired. However much of what we see now in here has been cleaned up, marble floors and columns polished and walls scrubbed by George Gilbert Scott (yup him again) one of those Victorian Gothic revivalist maniacs. He did such a thorough job that the place now looks like a giant shiny polished museum, sterile, pickled and most definitely dead, others call it a Gothic masterpiece.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Messing about with boats

Here's a small boat slowly motoring into the marina some time back in August. Couldn't find a use for this picture or rather collection of pictures stitched up until this month's City Daily Photo theme of 'movement' was announced.